Intensive farming does well to conserve biodiversity

May 12th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 12 (ANI): A new study, which is the first of its kind, has determined that modern intensive methods used in farming are compatible with biodiversity conservation.

A report in Science Daily states that the study, carried out by researchers from the universities of Manchester and Cambridge, eco-friendly plant and animal life have been thriving in intensively managed cereal farms alongside increasing crop yields.

Intensive methods in farming include mechanical ploughing, crop spraying and mechanization.

According to e conomist Dr Noel Russell from the University of Manchester, thes methods result in farms with higher yields that tend to have higher levels of beneficial insects, birds, mammals and fungi.

Eco-friendly species are able to pollinate crops, improve the soil, control pests and other factors to increase crop yields.

Our analysis shows that higher yielding more intensive farms are not necessarily those that are doing most damage to ecological habitats in the countryside, said Dr Russell, who is based at the School of Social Sciences.

Many farmers have been willing to reinvest - or forgo - some of their profits to conserve and improve biodiversity and that has born fruit according to our findings, according to Dr Russell.

This means the natural benefits of some of our plant and animal life to wheat, barley and other types of cereal farming need not be compromised by modern agriculture, he added.

The improvement is roughly in line with when the Government launched its environmental stewardship schemes and the EU re-launched its common agricultural policy.

The results show that many farmers have been successfully using high-yielding sustainable technologies, said Dr Russell.

These include conservation headlands, buffer strips along intensively managed fields or beside streams or ponds, beetle banks, skylark plots and precautions against soil erosion, he added. (ANI)

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